Can I congratulate energy minister Brian Wilson on approving the
development of the UK's biggest offshore windfarm planned for the
Great Yarmouth coastline.
power is the most viable proposition that should be seriously considered
when making any future decisions on energy production.
1994 study conducted by the DTI said that the UK could 'quite happily'
meet 'nearly all' of its electricity demand from offshore windfarms.
would imagine that by combining offshore windfarms with onshore
windfarms and other forms of alternative energy we could quite happily
meet all of the UK energy demand. May I silence some of the critical
outpourings that have been posted on this site by dispelling a few
myths and clarifying my opinions on some of these issues.
in response to comments from Nick Sampson and John Kendall regarding
their opinions that we should concentrate on insulating houses rather
than on wind energy and that we should consider electricity saving
devices before moving towards wind energy: surely these solutions
should be integrated with developing sustainable energy resources
as they are both steps in the same direction.
in response to Nick Sampson's comment that wind energy is the 'only'
form of energy generation that we cannot control: we cannot control
the supply of fossil fuels on a long-term basis, they will eventually
run out and we will be unable to replace them and the major incidents
at Chernobyl, Windscale and Three Mile Island prove that nuclear
energy can spiral quickly out of our control.
response to Dennis Azevedo's comment that wind turbines must slow
the wind: well yes, I am sure that this is true, but also true is
the fact that any structure that moves as a direct result of the
wind must also slow the wind - therefore tall trees must have the
same impact as they sway in the breeze, therefore I do not think
research into the environmental impact of wind turbines in this
context is necessary.
Hamilton's comments that tourists visiting windfarms create pollution
also comes under my scrutiny. True, visitors in their cars are creating
visitors to wind turbines can often be educated or informed at the
turbine site of the benefits of wind energy. They can use their
visit as a tool in forming an informed opinion on this issue and
it can inspire them to investigate this issue further.
By educating people about the benefits of wind technology the technologies
can be brought into action much quicker, as approval is more forthcoming.
as wind turbines become more and more commonplace they will lose
their novelty value on the tourist trail.
finally, D Hughes of North Wales should have money deducted from
his electricity bill if a wind turbine built close by causes him
any inconvenience - however, anyone using the 'green energy' from
wind farms should also have their electricity bills reduced as an
incentive for using it!
live in California, USA, where some of the first wind farms where
set up. I am in favour of wind turbines.
seen the wind farm in the San Gorgonio Pass (Near Palm Springs)
many times. Modern wind turbines produce energy without pollution
or spilling radioactive particles in the air like the Chernobyl
nuclear power plant.
can visit http://www.ucsusa.org/energy/w01.html
for a comparison of wind and coal power and check out the impacts
of other fossil fuel energy sources. The new windmills can produce
about 1.5 megawatts of energy at about 15mph.
can operate at wind speeds between 10 and 60mph.
pollution is made when turbines are manufactured, however a modern
wind turbine will repay all the pollution it made back in about
Wind turbines are built to last 20-30 years. The wind turbines are
very quiet, the sound of wind in my ears was louder than they where.
I do not find them ugly either. Often I see people near the road
taking pictures of these machines. So wind turbines don't harm tourism.
I think they should put up more wind turbines because the technology
is better now and it doesn't pollute.
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am doing a project on windfarms at school, and I have learnt that
wind farms are indeed very popular in other various parts of the
world, like California. So why are people objecting to having wind
as a source of energy here?
a design engineer and a parent, I am totally in favour of greener
forms of energy being constructed in Norfolk. Would those who are
complaining about wind farms and wind generators like to take a
visit or live next to either Windscale or the muck power station
near Thetford (for instance), they could then compare all these
types of energy manufacture and maybe make a more reasoned decision.
The muck power stations use kerosene to generate enough heat to
burn the muck and Windscale is a nuclear station and we all know
about the damage that stuff does - remember Chernobyl??? All these
original types of power generation are filthy and cause terrible
damage to the environment. The power and CO2 emissions needed to
make one wind generator is miniscule compared to that used to make
say one gas or chicken muck power station or indead a nuclear station.
When will the general public WAKE UP and start to realise it's not
our world we are damaging but our children's and their offsprings.
We need a pollution revolution and burning isn't the way to do it.
There is never a time when the whole country does not have wind
so the more wind farms and generators we have, the more we can get
rid of the other forms of power generators. I know which type of
generator I'd rather be beside. I moved back to Swaffham after being
away for 10 years and was delighted to see the generator in the
skyline.. much better that cooling towers or chimneys.
is an intermittent source of power and the only form of energy generation
which we cannot control. If there is no wind, there is no generation;
if there is too much wind the turbines must be shut down or they
will be blown over. At the moment UK turbines generate only an insignificant
trickle - less than 100 MW on average from nearly 50 wind "farms",
towards an average demand of about 43,000 MW. So we cannot shut
down any power stations in case there is no wind!! A much better
way of saving energy,would be to use the government subsidies given
to the wind farm industry to insulate homes. There are 1,628,000
houses in the UK with pitched roof and no roof insulation. Saving
pollution by insulation is 55 times more cost-effective than saving
it by wind turbines!!! Wind turbines DO produce significant amounts
of CO2 - they merely do it in advance. Emissions are created during
manufacture, transport and erection. So let's think again - estimates
suggest that we would would need in excess of 100,000 wind turbines
in the UK to supply our energy needs and what happens on a cold
and frosty morning when there is no wind!!
SAMPSON, GREAT YARMOUTH
I cannot understand the general public's
alleged hostility to wind farms. The turbines themselves are not
so very different from the windmills for which Norfolk is renowned
and which are part of Norfolk's identity. They are much less ugly
than other kinds of power stations and surely have less negative
visual impact than those. Many people choose to have satellite dishes
or digital receiver dishes on their houses. A mini-turbine on each
house would make a significant, free, easy and clean contribution
to the energy consumption of that household. Perhaps if we appealed
to people's greed in order to sell the idea of clean energy we'd
get further than we do with the standard arguments.
do we know the energy cost to make a wind turbine is less than the
energy that it makes?
we embark on saving energy through wind turbines,would it not be
a better idea to concentrate on building more eco-friendly houses.
Would it it not be also sensible to bring our older type property
up to scratch with electricity-saving devices.
I am writing from the EcoTech Centre in Swaffham, Norfolk, the site
of the Ecotricity Wind Turbine mentioned during this discussion.
Our own experiences here at EcoTech provide a compelling argument
for further wind-power developments.
The Swaffham turbine provided half of the town's domestic electricity
when it was built in 1999, and even though the town has grown to
such an extent that it now provides a third of the town's need,
it still saves the emission of over 3000 tonnes of carbon dioxide
(the main 'greenhouse' gas) every year.
addition, there are many less quantifiable benefits. Three years
ago few people in Swaffham knew where their electricity came from.
Now they are aware of renewable energy and its importance, and the
response to the turbine has been so enthusiastic that the Town Council
requested that Next Generation provide a second turbine!
The planning for this development is now underway. However, you
could argue that I have a biased view. The best way to evaluate
the practical and aesthetic worth of wind turbines is to see them
in action, and to this end I would encourage anyone who has an interest
in the subject to seek out their nearest wind development. You are
all of course welcome to visit the EcoTech Centre where you can
actually climb a wind turbine. For further information, or if you
have any questions, feel free to call us on 01760 726100, or email
I work in the wind power industry and I'd like to put my views forward.
Wind power is the most economical and clean renewable energy that
can be developed at the moment. If we are to slow global warming
then we need to develop projects like these, regardless of whether
they contribute a large or small amount in the overall picture.
I often hear 'antis' argue that one turbine makes no impact on global
emission. I say one individual person has no impact on global emissions
but when you look at the whole global community, then the impacts
are vast. The same is true when trying to develop a renewable energy
project. One turbine might not individually contribute much to stopping
global warming but collectively, a number of turbines will help
the fight in the least environmentally damaging way. Every bit counts
and this fact should never be lost when projects such as these are
believe that if they built more turbines then less natural resources
should be needed to make electricity, and the turbine way is more
believe that more turbines should be built along the east coast
as soon as possible. I can understand the views of the objectors
but think that they have their own agenda in the circumstances and
should consider themsleves lucky to live in such pleasant places.
The generators will not harm their lifestyle and they will get used
to it. It is a small price to pay for the benefits the turbines
D HACKETT, LOWESTOFT
Azevedo's comments about taking energy from the wind is a valid
question but if we look at the science, the percentage of power
taken given that they take nothing from above the altitude above
them is negligable. I would also suggest that ordinary buildings
by getting in the way have more impact. It is time we really adopted
wind power on a much larger scale along with other renewables such
as solar power, both electric and direct for heating water.
JACKSON, DOWNHAM MARKET
are a Year 4 class at Ysgol Llwyn yr Eos, Penparcau, Aberystwyth.
We have been studying wind-farms over the last month and can see
some in the distance from our class room window. Although we think
it is a pity that they make a noise we think that they are a good
thing because they do not use up our oil, coal and gas. We voted
22 children for and 5 children against wind farms.
4 CLASS, PENPARCAU, ABERYSTWYTH
do not know a single person who has any negative feelings toward
the Swaffham wind turbine. I find it a majestic and serene sight
and would have no objections to the building of one in my own village
It's a shame politics has to prevent the construction of these towers
when they can save what is left of our planet's resources.
interested in the impact that wind farms have on the environment.
They are one of the most popular forms of "green energy" but has
anyone considered the fact that they take energy from the atmosphere?
Have there been any studies as to the effect on local weather patterns,
plant growth and other "down stream" affects? If you place a paddle
wheel in a stream, you will slow the current. So, it goes to follow
that wind farms must actually slow the wind and this must have some
effect on areas that we have yet to consider. Wind farming isn't
a new industry, but its recent popularization should spawn some
research into the negative affects as well as the positive.
think these are the best means of power generation available. They
need no fuel, do not emit harmful gases or produce (radioactive)
waste. The electricity they produce iS as cheap as from gas-fired
power stations and cheaper than nuclear power. If more wind farms
are built, then we can all look forward to less big power lines
criss-crossing the countryside, as electricity will be generated
near where it is used. The NIMBYS need to keep this point in mind
and should back wind projects in their area instead! I would like
to see more wind farms on industrial land and alongside motorways
too. This again would reduce the scenescape of grid power lines.
I cannot understand why so-called "conservationists" object to wind
turbines. They are sleek, quiet structures: They are the 21st century
windmill. I wonder where the antis get their claims about noise
from: They must be straining to hear any.
think the wind farms are great! I had the opportunity to see them
this spring while I was visiting friends in Ludham, though not close
up. But as we drove along, you became almost mesmerized by the turning
of the blades. (No, I was not the one driving at the time!) In no
way do I believe that this has "harmed" the exceptional beauty of
the Norfolk countryside. Quite the contrary. Maybe the Yanks will
take a lesson from you!
BOWMAN, STERLING HEIGHTS, MICHIGAN, USA
would a reasonable idea that any one living near a wind farm should
have a discount off their electricity bills to reflect any inconviece
it causes. Regards.
HUGHES, NORTH WALES
love the wind farms we have in Norfolk, they add to the scenery.
The one near Winterton-on-Sea is beautiful to watch, very calming
and awe-inspiring. I love driving past the Eco-centre at Swaffham.
I have to slow down and gawp. It is beautiful and scary almost at
the same time. I'll make it up their by the end of the year! We
have to find alternatives to fossil fuels and yes it will cost more
but you can't have the cheapest things without paying for it in
another way. A bit like taxes! And yes I would be very happy to
live next to one, with no problems!
power generation using wind turbines has been part of the scenic
landscape of southern Alberta in Canada for many years. In spite
of the vast local reserves of oil and gas, wind power continues
to flourish. As for the intrusion of the windmill tower on the skyline,
perhaps think of these towers as you would the lighthouses of earlier
times. NIMBYs ('not in my back yard') have little to complain about
on this issue!
a regular holiday visitor to Norfolk for the last 30 years I think
the wind farms are a great idea, and are a tourist attraction. The
Ecocentre at Swaffham is excellent and the wind farm near Winterton
is very impressive.
the opponents of wind power are afraid of the effect on the visual
amenity of the Norfolk coastline and dear old Bronte country. Well
nobody seems to care about the damage the coalfields have caused
in the Rhondda Valley or South Yorkshire. It's a small price to
pay for fuel and power in the 21st Century. I say "Yes to wind
power, and the sooner the better".
an old Yarmouthian and 'Grammar Grub' I like to think I said it
first! If you read page 2 of my web site: www.alan.jarvis1.btinternet.co.uk/index.html
you'll see that I've been advocating the Scroby site for wind power
generation for many months and showing how far behind other European
Countries Britain is in utilising this power source. One thing the
Government and the manufacturers haven't yet addressed, though,
is whether with blade designs of present day windmills are as efficient
as were the old original windmill sails, especially in light winds,
or if they are mechanisms based on aeroplane propellors designed
to translate engine power into thrust. I wonder if the design boffins
have been too beguiled by the likes of Rotol etc.
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think the ideas of having wind farms of the coast of Norfolk is
a great idea. I have been to the EcoTech Wind Turbine at Swaffham,
and to the ones near Hemsby. They are a great way of producing electricity,
without harming the enviroment, why can't wind turbines be build
around Norwich, like at the new Park and Rides popping up around
the city. At least people will be able to find them a lot easier.
am pro-wind turbines, but I do think that some reports are misleading
as to how much energy is to be produced. Also I find it slightly
ironic that in every report they are heralded as a tourist attraction
and I wonder if the benefit is going to out weighed by the fossil
fuel used travelling to see the sights!
turbines are majestic and elegant, and their ecological credentials
are unassailable. Wind farms off the Norfolk coast are therefore
highly commendable. The main problem, however, is how to get the
electricity from producer to consumer. And the prospect of new lines
of pylons over the Norfolk countryside to link to the national grid
is perhaps too heavy a cost in aesthetic terms. This is the problem
we face and the proponents of alternative energy must address it.
site of the turbines at Winterton is fascinating and for a visitor
to Winterton or Swaffham they do look impressive, but if any decision
to use them more is going to be taken feedback should be taken from
local residents as to how noisy they are and if they find them visibly
intrusive after living with them several years. I think we should
be developing this technology - but what is the feasibility of locating
them offshore on redundant oil platforms or specially constructed
platforms - this way visual intrusion would be taken out of the
picture. Objections to wind turbines at the sand dunes next to Yarmouth
were they would interfere with the seal population. Surely that
would be only during construction - they would then come back afterwards.